CALC says elections were partly free and partly fair

The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections said the July 11 elections were partly free and partly fair for a number of reasons. The elections were yet competitive as the voters had a variety of political alternatives for making a choice. There were practically no obstacles or pressure that could hinder the electoral contenders from presenting their offers to voters, including through electoral debates.

In a news conference at IPN, secretary of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (CALC) Elena Prohnitski, ADEPT vice director, said the elections were held based on an incomplete legal framework and with problematic provisions that haven’t been improved until now, in accordance with the Constitutional Court opinions of 2016 and 2020 and with the recommendations of national and international observation missions. The Central Election Commission and the lower electoral bodies properly organized the elections. A positive impact was ascertained on the ensuring of the equality of chances between men and women in Parliament following the observance by the election runners of the double gender quota when compiling the lists of candidates.

Sorina Macrinici, program coordinator of the Center of Legal Resources from Moldova, said the examination of electoral challenges was defective. The Parliament’s failure to adjust the Election Code’s provisions concerning the examination of electoral challenges to the Administrative Code led to situations of confusion as regards the power of the institution and the applied procedure. Consequently, the right of the electoral players to challenge the actions of opponents was limited and these were deprived of the right to an effective remedy. The delay in examining electoral disputes, in particular as regards the establishment of polling stations abroad and on the left side of the Nistru, generated risks to the integrity of the electoral process and the observance of the principle of legal security.

The Coalition is concerned about the non-transparent process of establishing polling stations outside the country. Against the good practices, the CEC hasn’t applied the stipulated criteria for determining the number of polling stations abroad. The authorities in charge of the establishment of polling stations abroad showed insufficient inter-institutional communication and the courts of law also ascertained this. The establishment of polling stations outside the country later than the time limit didn’t enable to fully inform the citizens about the addresses of stations.

Sorina Macrinici noted that the process of forming polling stations on the left side of the Nistru lacked transparency and generated concern as to political interference in the activity of the CEC. The initial decision on the establishment of polling stations, including on the territory that is not controlled by the authorities of the Republic of Moldova, increased the risks to the integrity and security of the voting process. The lack of access to information and banning of electoral agitation on the left side of the Nistru by the separatist authorities of Tiraspol didn’t enable the citizens to freely inform themselves about the electoral process and the platforms of electoral contenders.

The Independent Journalism Center and Promo-LEX Association also identified a number of irregularities.

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